Trainer Brenan Ghassemieh tells us about an ingenious exercise that will make you wobbly, then strong: the Plank Alternate Extension.
• Get down into the traditional plank pose: Toes on the floor, trunk parallel to the floor, elbows and forearms on the floor.
• Raise your right arm and left leg at the same time.
• Hold the pose for about two seconds.
• Alternate switching to the left arm and the right leg.
• Do this for about a minute – “just a nice, slow, steady pace,” Ghassemieh says.
• Wonder aloud whether there’s an easier way to do this.
There is! For instance, you could start out in a nonplank position, on your knees. Lift the right arm and left leg, etc.
Also, you could start out in the plank position and raise only one arm, keeping the toes on the floor. Move on to just lifting one leg, then another, keeping the elbows on the floor.
“As you feel more comfortable with both of those, start to go with both” (arm and leg) at the same time.
“It’s definitely hard,” Ghassemieh says of the full Plank Alternate Extension. But “it’s working the core a lot more” than the regular plank.